calcutta high court

The Union Cabinet has approved the second phase of the eCourts Mission Mode Project for Rs 1670 crore to enable information and communications technology (ICT) in courts. This will be done through ‘universal computerisation’, cloud computing, case record digitisation and e-services like e-filing, e- payment gateways and mobile apps among others.

Phase II involves the installation of touch screen kiosks and video conferencing at all court complexes and its jails, provision of handheld process service devices and a proposal to use 5% solar energy at court complexes on a pilot basis.

Phase I update:
– The eCourts Mission Mode Project included the computerisation of 14,249 district and subordinate courts by March 2015, with a total budget of Rs 935 crore. The government claims that as of May 2015, it has completed over 95% of the activities.

– It also claims that the ICT infrastructure of the Supreme Court and High Court has been upgraded, provided laptops to 14,309 judicial officers, Case Information System (CIS) software been developed and made available for deployment at computerised courts and case data entry initiated.

– It adds that over 3 crore pending and decided cases’ data from over 10,000 courts is available online. The statement also says that it has trained 14,000 judicial officers on the use of the Linux OS Ubuntu, 4,000 court staff has been trained to operate the CIS software.

– Interestingly, the government also mentions that a video conferencing facility between 500 courts and its corresponding jails has been set up. It launched a pilot in 5 districts and a roll out to the remaining locations is ‘under way’. The government has also made operational the e-Courts portal. On the portal, litigants can access case registration details, cause list, caste status, daily orders and final judgments.

– The government claims that it computerised over 13,000 district and subordinate courts in Phase I. It says that the case status information of over 5 crore pending and decided cases and over 1 crore orders and judgments are available online.

Previous e-initiatives by the government:

– Earlier this week, the government issued 15,557 e-tourist visas in the month of June 2015 registering a growth of 636.6% compared to 2,112 visas it issued in June 2014. The government attributed the high growth in e-tourist visas to the extension of the facility to 76 countries as opposed to the earlier coverage of 12 countries.

– Police verification for the issuing or renewal of passports will soon be moved online, allowing the procedure to be completed within a week instead of the standard 20 days. According to a home ministry official, it will take 3-4 months to integrate the databases and have the technical infrastructure in place, with the system expected to go online by November.

– Earlier this month, the government cleared Rs 200 crore for setting up an online agriculture market place and would integrate 585 wholesale mandis across India to give farmers better access to market prices for the produce.

– Last month, the government launched a website for job seekers and employers in the micro, small and medium enterprises sector (MSMEs) to provide job listings in the manufacturing sector for both.

– In the same month, The National Informatics Centre developed a new portal called myvisit.gov.in where citizens could book an appointment with government officials from central and state departments. The portal claimed that it had 84 departments with 4,873 officers and 40,057 visitors to departments. It also launched a new portal for students to download school books and ebooks.

– In February, the Indian government launched 11 central government services on its government-to-business portal eBiz, with the aim of making the process of setting up a business in India much simpler.

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Image Credit: Flickr user Avrajyoti Mitra